Press and Blogs

Summer 2020

By William Deverell
Review: The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad. Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, eds. (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 2019. 539 pp.)
Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad. By Gordon H. Chang. (Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. 312 pp.)
Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. By Gordon H. Chang et al. (Digital history, bin/website/) , Pacific Historical Review, Vol 89, No. 3 (Summer 2020), pp. 450-455.
Under review are two books and a remarkably useful website/archive directed at that cauldron of racism and railroadism in nineteenth-century California. Together, they do great work in helping us flesh out the grim parameters of a story we perhaps thought we knew. …These bring it home, thanks to herculean social history efforts, archives dug deeply into, painstaking research across nearly a decade of work, and presentations of new knowledge done in solid and at times innovative ways. …these three projects—tied together, all parts to a greater whole—deliver a huge amount of scholarly information.

By Timothy Dean Draper
Review: The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad (Journal of American Ethnic History, Vol. 39, No. 4, Summer 2020, pp. 90-92.)
The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad, originating from studies in the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University, offers an eclectic and comprehensive study that brings visibility to the monumental and very intimate human stories too long submerged beneath the pageantry of the golden spike ceremony.

May 2020

California Green Academy and TransportiCA: “Ghosts of Gold Mountain” Named May 2020 Book of the Month (California Green Academy, May 1, 2020)
Ghosts of Gold Mountain is an incredibly important publication for this month, not only for everyone to better understand the sacrifices made by thousands of Chinese workers on the Transcontinental Railroad, but to make sure their story is told with the unfiltered honesty, integrity, and appreciation, it so rightly deserves.

April 2020

By Sean Fraga 
Review: “Pacific Ties: Recovering the Lives of Chinese Railroad Workers in North America – Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, eds. The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019″, Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, volume 19: 2 (April 2020), pp. 341-343.

March 2020

By Robin Lindley
Interview: Acclaimed History Professor Gordon Chang on “Ghosts of Gold Mountain” (History News Network, March 4, 2020)
To fill in the historical record, acclaimed expert in Chinese American history Professor Gordon H. Chang explores this forgotten yet momentous story in his new book Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Professor Chang vividly illuminates the journey of Chinese workers from poverty and war in China to their work building the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) from the California coast to Utah under the most extreme physical conditions imaginable as they also faced discrimination and violence in the new land.

January 2020

By Adeel Hassan
“Race / Related” (New York Times, January 4, 2020)
A basketball star took a sabbatical to help free a man she believed was wrongly convicted. Residents of a neighborhood in Mobile, Ala., sought to raise the sunken Clotilda, the last slave ship to reach the United States, as a way of reconnecting with their ancestors. Chinese railroad workers were finally recognized for the pivotal role they played in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.  At a time when disinformation, hate crimes, inequality and white supremacy appear to be on the rise, stories like these helped amplify voices that had not been heard. They raised awareness about efforts across the country to curb what many see as the rising tide of racial injustice. They were stories about bravery and celebrating differences.

September 2019

“The Ghosts of Gold Mountain are Still With Us” (NorthWest Asian Weekly, September 20, 2019)
By Kai Curry
There are ghosts among us. Ghosts that, if left unrecognized, haunt the living, whether or not we are aware of it. This is part of the message of “Ghosts of Gold Mountain” by Gordon H. Chang, a well-researched work of documentary nonfiction that traces the lives and deaths of the Chinese immigrants who worked on the transcontinental railroad.

The Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, and the Strike of 1867, (KPFA, Pacifica Radio, September 10, 2019)
Interview with Gordon H. Chang.

Book [“Ghosts of Gold Mountain”] Q & A’s with Deborah Kalb (September 4, 2019)
By Deborah Kalb
Q: Why did you decide to focus your new book on the Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad?
A [Gordon H. Chang]: I am a fourth-generation Chinese American who grew up in California hearing about the Chinese railroad workers but never with any detail. Their story has been a lifelong curiosity and I tried to gather documentation about their past over the years but with little success. Now, late in my career, I have had the time and resources to devote to the recovery of their history…

August 2019

“Tarnished Gold: Review of Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad by Gordon H. Chang” (TrueWest, August 23, 2019)
By Stuart Rosebrook
Gordon H. Chang’s Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28) is an instant classic and sure to be shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in History. Once again, Chang proves he is one of those rare historians publishing today who has the ability to write both academic and popular American history.

Remembering the Forgotten Chinese Railroad Workers: Archeologists help modern descendants of Chinese railroad laborers commemorate their ancestors(Sapiens, August 22. 2019)
By Veronica Peterson
In 1864, 15-year-old Hung Lai Wah and his older brother Hung Jick Wah laid an offering at the Hung family temple in Dailong Village, Guangdong, China. They were about to cross the Pacific Ocean to raise their family’s fortunes by working on a U.S. railroad…As the two brothers burned incense and bowed before the altar of their ancestors, they had no way of knowing that it would be over 150 years before a descendant of theirs, Russell Low, retraced their steps on the American railroad… Stanford’s Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project (which supports the archaeology network that I am a part of) collects all such information.

June 2019

“Building the Transcontinental Railroad; Moonshot of the 19th Century,” (CBS News, Jun 16, 2019)
“The workers on the line who cleared the way for the railroad, who laid the roadbed and laid the track, laid the ties and so forth, then especially did tunnels, [were] almost exclusively Chinese,” said Gordon H. Chang, a history professor at Stanford University. He is author of a newly-released book, “Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad”.

The Stories they told: How the Chinese railroad workers live on” (Stanford Daily, June 5, 2019) 
By Sean Lee
A century and a half after the Golden Spike was hammered in at Promontory Summit, Utah, people from all over the Bay crowded into Tressider Oak Lounge with standing room only. Except instead of being on the sidelines like they had been in 1869, the contributions of the Chinese railroad workers were the focus at the 150th Anniversary event, The Golden Spike: Chinese Workers and The Transcontinental Railroad.

What We Are Reading Today: Ghosts of Gold Mountain; (Arab News, June 1, 2019)
In this groundbreaking account, award-winning scholar Gordon H. Chang draws on unprecedented research to recover the Chinese railroad workers’ stories and celebrate their role in remaking America.

May 2019

“Remembering the Chinese Railroad Workers that Built Stanford’s Fortune” (Stanford Daily, May 23, 2019)
By Elena Shao
In 1969, at the “Golden Spike” centennial celebration of the First Transcontinental Railroad’s completion, the Chinese community nationwide had high hopes that the ceremony would provide an opportunity for the country to formally recognize the significant contributions of over 12,000 Chinese workers who helped build the one of the nation’s greatest engineering marvel.

“Gordon H. Chang on the Amazing Accomplishments of the Ghosts of Gold Mountain” (Public Libraries On-Line, May 23, 2919)
By Brendan Dowling
Gordon H. Chang’s Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad is a phenomenal work of historical research, giving readers an unprecedented look at the daily lives of the Chinese workers whose ingenuity and perseverance led to the construction of the transcontinental railroad. Chang dives into the workers’ lives both in China and in the U.S., providing insight into what motivated the workers to move across the ocean as well as the unimaginable working conditions they faced once in the States. Critics have heaped praise on Chang, with The Wall Street Journal stating that “he has written a remarkably rich, human and compelling story of the railroad Chinese” and Publisher’s Weekly calling his work “vibrating and passionate.”

“How Do You Honor Your Ancestors When They’ve Been Erased From History?” (NEWSY, MAY 18, 2019)
By Cat Sandoval
“Many Chinese Americans today are interested to see if they can find direct documentary evidence,” says Gordon Chang, a historian and Stanford University professor. He did extensive research on the Chinese railroad workers. “And a few families have been able to do that.” But the vast majority of Chinese Americans who come forward and say they are descendants of Chinese railroad workers can’t document that history because the documents just aren’t there.

“Building Towards the Golden Spike: 150th Anniversary — Film screening, lecture, and the Chinese and the Iron Road exhibit” (ArtsEmerson/Boston Film Festival/Chinese Historical Society of New England, May 18, 2019)
Film: “Canton Army in the High Sierras: Chinese workers build America’s first transcontinental railroad” (dir. Loni Ding)
Carving 13 tunnels inch-by-inch through the solid granite of the Sierras in the days before dynamite, an army of thousands of Chinese railroad workers were the backbone and heart of the Central Pacific railroad western half. This film recounts the real story of these workers, their methods of work and the ethnic/cultural values that sustained them through the difficult work of completing America’s first Transcontinental Railroad “from sea to shining sea.”

Followed by a lecture on selected images from the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University, by former Director of Research, Professor Denise Khor (UMASS-Boston).

Chinese Railroad Workers Were Almost Written Out of History (New York Times, May 14, 2019)
By Karen Zraik
The renewed focus on the contributions of the Chinese workers is due in large part to Gordon H. Chang, a historian at Stanford University, who has spent decades researching the workers’ history and co-directs the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project.

Recovering the Legacy of Chinese Railroad Workers” (New York Times, May 14, 2019)
By Jill Cohen
It was springtime in the Sierra, Shelley Fisher Fishkin said. There was no snow on the ground. And yet, Ms. Fishkin, an English professor at Stanford University, recalled, the guide she and colleagues were touring with slipped on a patch of black ice in a tunnel and broke a shoulder. “It just was an emblem,” she said. “If that’s what the tunnels were like in April, how treacherous they would be in the winter.”

“America forgot the Chinese workers who built the railroad” (High Country News, May 10, 2019)
By Nick Bowlin
High Country News recently spoke to Chang, who wants the Chinese railroad workers recognized as vital figures in the history of the West’s development. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

“The Forgotten History of the Chinese Who Helped Build America’s Railroads (Book Review of Ghosts of Gold Mountain by Gordon H. Chang)” (New York Times, May 10, 2019)
By Andrew Graybill
Shortly after the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Point, Utah, on May 10, 1869, James Strobridge — the construction foreman of the Central Pacific Railroad — held a celebratory meal in his private railcar. With the linking of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, cross-country travel had been cut from several months to a single week. No less important was the symbolism: Only four years after the end of the Civil War, iron rails stitched the United States back together.

Remember the Chinese Immigrants Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad” (Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2019)
By Gordon H. Chang
The nation’s first transcontinental railroad, completed 150 years ago today at Promontory Summit in Utah, connected the vast United States and brought America into the modern age. Chinese immigrants contributed mightily to this feat, but the historical accounts that followed often marginalized their role.

The Chinese men at the heart of America’s first modern wonder(Book review of Ghosts of Gold Mountain by Gordon H. Chang)” (Los Angels Review of Books, May 10, 2019)
By Dan Friedman
Less than five years after the end of the Civil War, the United States completed the construction of a new wonder of the modern world.

Shelley Fisher Fishkin discusses the Golden Spike conference and the contributions of Chinese-Americans” (CGTN, May 10, 2019)
CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Shelley Fisher Fishkin about the Golden Spike Conference and the contributions of Chinese-Americans

“150 Years after the completion of the first transcontinental railroad, a local Chicago museum highlights Chinese workers’ contributions” (NEWSY, May 9, 2019)
By Cat Sandoval
Gordon Chang co-directed a project about the Chinese railroad workers at Stanford, which contributed to this museum exhibit. He said: “The erasure of the story of Chinese railroad workers from American history textbooks is similar to the neglect or erasure of much of minority history in American life. … There are many other works, both published books, as well as magazine articles that mentioned Chinese hardly at all or neglect them entirely. ”

The Ghosts of Gold Mountain and The Chinese & the Iron Road review: Building the Transcontinental railroad” (Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2019)
By Peter Cozzens
The men who laid tracks across the Sierra Nevada were mostly immigrants from Guandong, China.

Chinese-American pride celebrated in 150th anniversary of transcontinental railroad” (Reuters, May 9, 2019)
By Terray Silvester
PROMONTORY, Utah (Reuters) – Connie Young Yu says that when her parents joined a delegation of fellow Chinese-Americans attending a 1969 event commemorating the centennial of the first U.S. Transcontinental Railroad, they were snubbed, upstaged by Hollywood star John Wayne.

“Chinese transcontinental railroad workers’ feat spotlighted during 150th anniversary” (Standard-Examiner, May 9, 2019)
By Cathy McKitrick
OGDEN, Utah — Stanford University professor and author Shelley Fisher Fishkin presented details of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, a team effort launched in 2012.

Giving Voice to the Chinese Railroad Workers on the 150th Anniversary of the First Transcontinental Railroad(May 9, 2019)
By Gary Mukai
On April 11, 2019, an event organized by the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project celebrated the labor of the Chinese workers and their role in U.S. history. Speakers included Stanford Provost Persis Drell, who underscored the significance of the Project and the momentous nature of the event, and Project co-directors Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities Gordon Chang and Joseph S. Atha Professor in Humanities Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who gave an overview of the Project and its findings. The Project’s findings are highlighted in two books, The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad(edited by Chang and Fishkin) and Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad (authored by Chang). These books give the Chinese workers a voice.

Telling the Epic Story of the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad“, National Public Radio, On Point (Interview, May 7, 2019.
Gordon H. Chang and Lisa See, interviewed by Meghna Chakrabarti.
Now 150 years after the two halves of the first transcontinental railroad were united, the Chinese workers who did some of the most difficult work get their due.

“Ghosts of Gold Mountain”, RadioWest, May 6, 2019.
By Doug Fabrizio
Stanford historian Gordon Chang says most Americans know that Chinese laborers worked on the transcontinental railroad, but that’s all they know. Historians themselves haven’t been able to tell us much about the nearly 20,000 Chinese who built the Central Pacific line. So, Chang and his team have scoured the archives to reconstruct the lives, work, and legacy of Chinese railroad workers. He’s coming to Utah, and joins us to tell the story of one of the first big migrant labor forces in America.

Chinese workers’ role in U.S. history ignored for decades, but not any more” (San Francisco Examiner, May 4, 2019)
By Nick Nolte
It took only 150 years, but the Chinese who built America’s first transcontinental railway are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

The Longest Hop: The True story of the railroad that spanned the nation(Smithsonian Magazine, May 1, 2019)
By Jesse Katz
“Who else but Americans could drill ten tunnels in mountains 30 feet deep in snow?”…Actually, 10,000 to 20,000 immigrant Chinese laborers had helped forge the Central Pacific’s path over the Sierra Nevada to its historic 1869 meeting with the Union Pacific…
May also marks the publication of Ghosts of Gold Mountain, a groundbreaking history of Chinese railroad workers by Stanford scholar Gordon H. Chang. Given that the university’s founder, Leland Stanford, was both a critic of Chinese immigration as California governor and a beneficiary of Chinese labor as president of the Central Pacific, Chang views the 150th anniversary as the perfect occasion for rethinking the central role immigrants have played in the nation’s story. After all, he asks, “What could be more American than to build a railroad?”

April 2019

“Recovering an Erased History: The Chinese railroad workers who helped connect the country” (NBC News) 
Series by Chris Fuchs about the Transcontinental Railroad anniversary.
Descendants of Chinese railroad workers share their hope for the recognition of their ancestors’ labor.
150 Years Ago, Chinese railroad workers risked their lives in pursuit of the American dream.
Scholar’s search for Chinese railroad workers’ history leads to East Coast railways.
These artists want to draw the Chinese railroad workers back into history.”
N.Y. congresswoman introduces resolution honoring Chinese railroad workers.”

“Chinese immigrants helped build California, but they’ve been written out of its history” (Los Angeles Times)
“In 2014, the U.S. Labor Department formally inducted the Chinese workers who helped build the transcontinental railroad into its Hall of Honor, giving them a place in American labor history alongside union leaders such as Eugene V. Debs and A. Philip Randolph and champions of worker dignity such as Mother Jones and Cesar Chavez.”

“Stanford photo exhibition unveils hidden secrets of Chinese migrant workers of U.S. Transcontinental Railroad” (Xinhua News North America)
“SAN FRANCISCO, April 12 (Xinhua) — A photo exhibition at Stanford University celebrating the 150th anniversary of the First U.S. Transcontinental Railroad in the 19th century has unveiled many hidden historical details of tens of thousands of Chinese immigrant workers that built the milestone American infrastructure project.”

“Stanford project gives voice to Chinese workers who helped build the Transcontinental railroad” (Stanford News, April 9, 2019)
By Alex Shashkevich
In two upcoming books, researchers with Stanford’s Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project detail the story of Chinese migrants who helped construct the First Transcontinental Railroad a century and a half ago.

“Gordon H. Chang ’70 Recovers the Stories of the Chinese Laborers Who Connected America” (Princeton Alumni Weekly, April 9, 2019)
By Douglas Corzine
Though many of the migrants were literate, none of their writing has survived. Gordon H. Chang ’70’s Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad  (HoughtonMifflinHarcourt) tells their stories through meticulous research, using ship manifests, payroll records, archeological findings, and all manner of archival material to celebrate the unsung builders whose labor helped bolster America’s emergence as a world power.

“Ghosts on a Gold Mountain,” Hudson Review, April 9, 2019.
By Clara Park.

March 2019

“Stanford student’s ancestor helped build the Transcontinental railroad” (Stanford News, March 28, 2019)
By Alex Kekauoha
In the mid-19th century, a 12-year-old boy from rural China named Lim Lip Hong immigrated to the United States, seeking opportunity. He found work building the Central Pacific Railroad – the westernmost portion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Construction on the railroad was overseen by the Big Four, who included Leland Stanford. Today, Lim’s great-great-great-grandson Michael Solorio is an undergraduate at Stanford.
That connection is discussed in the upcoming book Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, by Gordon Chang, a historian in Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. The book is part of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, which will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in an event April 11.

Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad,” Kirkus Reviews, March 17, 2019.
A valuable contribution to the history of the Chinese in North America, allowing the formerly nameless to emerge “as real historical actors.”

Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad,” Publishers Weekly, March 3. 2019
In this ambitious saga, Chang (Fateful Ties), a professor of American history, burrows deep into the margins of history, attempting to reveal the experiences of the Chinese men who labored on the Central Pacific Railroad….His writing is vibrant and passionate; he has searched as widely as he can to try to render his subjects as “vital, living, and feeling human beings who made history,” and this account clarifies that the Chinese railroad workers had far more agency than popularly believed.

January 2016
“The Laborers Nobody Knows” (Stanford Alumni Magazine)
“It was 1970 when history professor Gordon H. Chang, then a new graduate student fresh out of Princeton, walked into Green Library to pore through Leland Stanford’s papers for the first time. Forty-five years later, he is still looking for what he went there that day to find: accounts that would describe the lives of Chinese workers instrumental in the building of the transcontinental railroad.”

August 2015
“American Railroad Project Peers Into Chinese Past” (ABC)
“It is an American success story — the linking of the east and west by railroad in the 1860s. However many of the people who built it weren’t Americans but Chinese, and now there’s an effort underway to better tell their story.”

July 2015
“Stanford Project Unearths Personal Histories of Chinese Railroad Workers” (KQED)
“The Transcontinental Railroad has been dubbed a feat of 19th century engineering and has been credited with opening California up to trade. Despite the importance of the project, little is known about the individual lives of the 12,000 Chinese immigrants who laid the track between Sacramento and the Sierra Nevada. Now, 150 years after Chinese workers began working on the railroad, we look back on the contributions of those workers and learn about the Stanford project that’s piecing together their personal stories.”

June 2015
“How the West was built: Project seeks stories of Chinese workers” (LA Times)
“In May 1969, Connie Young Yu’s mother and father traveled to Utah from the Bay Area for ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the transcontinental railway. Like thousands of Chinese Americans, their migrant-laborer forefathers had worked on the massive project that culminated in California rail baron Leland Stanford driving the celebrated golden spike at Promontory Point.”

June 2015
“斯坦福举办纪念华工参与修建美国铁路150周年活动” (金山在线 US China Express)
“【侨报记者张苗6月6日南湾报道】6月6日,斯坦福大学举办纪念铁路华工150周年活动。中国驻旧金山总领事罗林泉、斯坦福大学人文学院院长赛拉尔(Richard Saller)、斯坦福大学北美铁路华工研究课题(Chinese Railroad Workers Project)主任张少书(Gordon H. Chang)、中美学者、铁路华工后裔代表及斯坦福大学师生等200余人出席活动”

June 2015
“斯坦福大学举行仪式纪念华工建铁路150周年” (凤凰视频 Phoenix Video)

June 2015
“美斯坦福大学纪念华工赴美建铁路150周年” (中国新闻网 China News)
“中新网6月8日电 据美国《世界日报》报道,美国铁路华工150周年,斯坦福大学北美铁路华工研究工程及美国华人历史协会学者,6日和来自全国的数十名华工后代一起回顾这段重要的历史。”

June 2015
“美斯坦福大学纪念华工赴美建铁路150周年” (新华网 Xinhua News Agency)
“中新网6月8日电 据美国《世界日报》报道,美国铁路华工150周年,斯坦福大学北美铁路华工研究工程及美国华人历史协会学者,6日和来自全国的数十名华工后代一起回顾这段重要的历史。”

June 2015
“美斯坦福大学纪念华工赴美建铁路150周年” (人民网 People’s Daily)
“中新网6月8日电 据美国《世界日报》报道,美国铁路华工150周年,斯坦福大学北美铁路华工研究工程及美国华人历史协会学者,6日和来自全国的数十名华工后代一起回顾这段重要的历史。”

June 2015
“Historians build links to an important historic past” (China Daily)
“Chinese railroad workers played a vital role in the 1860s construction and completion of the first transcontinental railway in the US. Their herculean efforts in helping to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West should always be remembered, and their heart-wrenching stories should be told and retold and passed on to future generations so that they are never forgotten.”

June 2015
“Consul General Luo Linquan Attends Stanford University Event to Commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Introduction of Chinese Workers into the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad” (Chinese Consulate in San Francisco)
“On June 6th, 2015,Consul General Luo Linquan attended Stanford University event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the introduction of Chinese workers into the first transcontinental railroad across the United States. Deputy Consul General Zha Liyou, Dean of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences Richard Saller, Director for Institute for Asian Studies Gordon H. Chang, leaders of Chinese History Society of America, Chinese and American scholars, descendents of Chinese railroad workers, Stanford faculty and students as well as more than 200 guests attended the event.”

June 2015
“Stanford scholars give voice to the Chinese workers who helped build Transcontinental Railroad” (Stanford News)
“Built in the mid-1800s, the Transcontinental Railroad was among the most ambitious enterprises of American engineering – as well as an important source of Leland Stanford’s wealth. Well over 10,000 Chinese laborers performed the grueling and dangerous work of tunneling through the granite of the Sierra Nevada. They were paid less than fellow Caucasian workers, and had fewer legal rights.”

May 2015
“It’s 150 years since Chinese migrants were brought in to build the Transcontinental Railroad” (SF Gate)
“The greatest engineering feat of the 19th century began in 1863, when the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads broke ground. Two years later, contractors began hiring large numbers of Chinese migrants, many from California, to help with the monumental construction project.”

July 2014
“華工鑄就血淚路 金釘偉遺跡致敬歷史” (World Journal 世界新聞)

July 2014
“Stanford project sheds lights on lives of Chinese railway workers” (China Daily)
“Chinese Railroad Workers in North America, an online digital archive that commemorates the work of thousands of Chinese immigrants in building the Transcontinental Railroad and seeks ‘to give a voice’ to them, was unveiled at Stanford University earlier this week.”

May 2014
“斯坦福大学还原华工形象唤醒共同历史记忆” (Nanfang Daily 南方日报)

May 2014
“Story of Raymond Chong 張偉明的尋根故事” (ITV 55.5 Life)
The story of Raymond Chong, descendant of a Chinese railroad worker who has spent the last 10 years looking for his roots in Kaiping City, Guangdong Province was featured on May 28, 2014 on ITV 55.5 Life, a Mandarin program broadcast from Houston, Texas. The Chinese Railroad Workers Project has recorded an oral history with Chong for the Digital Archive.

May 2014
“华工形象还原:唤醒共同历史记忆以推进中美关系” (China News 中国新闻)

May 2014
“A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America” (Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center)
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center launched the project “A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America” to gather photos from all parts of the U.S. on May 10th, the anniversary of the Golden Spike. The Stanford Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project participated by shooting photos at the Cantor Arts Museum at Stanford where the Golden Spike is on display. Several of us marveled at the artifact, and Gordon H. Chang explained the image of Chinese servants in the large portrait of the Stanford family.

May 2014
Golden Spike Ceremony Anniversary
May 10, 2014 was the 145th anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony at Promontory, Utah. The ceremony celebrated the meeting of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads to complete the transcontinental railroad in 1869. There was a wide range of events and articles sparked by this anniversary, many of them highlighting the work of the Stanford Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project.

聯合報 美鐵路血汗華工 145年後登名人堂
世界日報 橫跨美國鐵路竣工照重拍 華人入鏡
聯合報 華工埋骨他鄉 只找到300多人名字
聯合報 貢獻遭抹殺 華工後人爭公道
中央社 正視歷史 19世紀華工列美勞工名人堂

May 2014
“Chinese Railroad Workers Memorial” (Rick Quan)
A Memorial Project has been launched to build a monument to the Chinese railroad workers in the Sierra Nevada. Steven Lee is heading the Memorial Project, and Bay Area journalist Rick Quan has produced a video to introduce the project and to raise funds. The Stanford Railroad Workers in North America Project is assisting in the campaign, and Project participants Denise Khor and Hilton Obenzinger are interviewed in the short video.

May 2014
“上萬華工 只找到300多人名字” (World Journal 世界新聞)

May 2014
“苦蒐資料尋後代 譚上新終促成表彰” (World Journal 世界新聞)

May 2014
“华工形象还原:唤醒共同历史记忆以推进中美关系” (GuHanTai 古汉台)
“ ‘我们想纠正一个历史错误,中央太平洋铁路不是斯坦福一个人修的,而主要是华人修的。”斯坦福大学北美铁路华工研究工程负责人张少书教授对南方日报记者说,不能让这些修建美国太平洋铁路的华工继续成为历史的“隐形人’。”

May 2014
“中国摄影师自费重走美国铁路 寻访筑路华工生活” (China News 中国新闻网)
“手拿照相机,肩扛三脚架,身上背着鼓鼓的行囊,里面装着各种各样的摄影器材……无论出现在哪里,这都是摄影师李炬的经典造型。从2012年开始,他两次自费重走美国太平洋铁路,精心收集当年筑路华工的点滴记忆;同时,一路寻找140多年前中央太平洋铁路公司官方摄影师阿尔弗雷德·哈特(Alfred A·Hart)当年所摄铁路老照片的机位,进行新旧图片对比。”

May 2014
“Project remembers Chinese railroad workers in US through descendants” (Turkish Weekly)
“Next year marks the 150th anniversary of when large numbers of Chinese started working on the transcontinental railroad in the United States. Very little is known about these workers lives and what happened to them after the construction ended. Stanford University is working on a project to piece together the lives of the Chinese railroad workers by reaching out to their descendants.”

May 2014
“Project Remembers Chinese Railroad Workers in US Through Descendants 斯坦福大学研究美国铁路华工历史” (Voice of America 美国之音)
“Next year marks the 150th anniversary of when large numbers of Chinese started working on the transcontinental railroad in the United States. Very little is known about these workers lives and what happened to them after the construction ended. Stanford University is working on a project to piece together the lives of the Chinese railroad workers by reaching out to their descendants.”
“将近150年前,大批华人开始在横贯美国大陆的铁路上工作,使得美国成为一个现代国家工作。不过,人们对这些华工的境况和命运知之甚少。美国斯坦福大学正在开发一个项目,通过联络华工后裔,从他们那里了解、拼凑起美国铁路华工的生活。”  看全文

May 2014
“通車145周年 貢獻終獲肯定 美鐵路華工列入名人堂” (Singpao 成報網)
“一詞在19世紀常用於形容被騙到西方做苦力的華人,由於外國的勞動力不足,不時要輸入外勞協助擔當刻苦及辛勞的工作,當中大部分都是華人。華工為美國建造了首條橫貫東西岸的跨州大鐵路,整條鐵路充滿華工的血與汗,適逢今年是鐵路通車145周年,美國勞工部於當地時間前天舉行儀式,將「中國鐵路工人」列入勞工名人堂(Labor Hall of Honor),這是首批獲此殊榮的華裔人士,也為歷史留下紀錄,而美國總統奧巴馬日前慶祝亞太裔傳統月亦發聲明肯定中國勞工的貢獻。本報國際組報道。”

May 2014
“横贯美国铁路落成145年后竣工照被重拍 华人入境” (HuanQiu 环球网)

May 2014
“DOL Inducting Chinese Rail Workers into Hall of Fame” (Occupational Health & Safety)
“U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is scheduled to participate in a public ceremony May 9 inducting into the DOL Hall of Fame the Chinese railroad workers whose work was crucial to the completion of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad in 1869. Deputy Secretary Christopher Lu, and descendants of the railroad workers also will take part in the one-hour ceremony at the Department of Labor headquarters, 200 Constitution Ave. NW in Washington, D.C., starting at 11:30 a.m.”

May 2014
“Remembering Chinese Laborers 145 Years Later” (KUER)
“It’s been 145 years since the ceremonial ‘driving of the Golden Spike’ connected the Union and Central Pacific railroads at Promontory Summit in Utah. In this year’s commemoration, the role of Chinese laborers in building the transcontinental railroad will be recognized and celebrated.”

May 2014
“Stanford University recognized for contributions to U.S.-China relations” (Stanford News)
The Committee of 100, an organization of prominent Chinese Americans dedicated to making cultural connections between the United States and Asia held its annual conference in San Francisco on April 25, 2014. The group honored Stanford University with its Common Ground Award for the Advancement in U.S.-China Relations, noting Stanford’s Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project as well as the university’s scientific and academic exchanges over the years. Stanford President John Hennessy received the award, and the Project’s co-directors Professors Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin were introduced to the audience. A short video describing the project was also viewed.

May 2014
“New Efforts To Honor Chinese Railroad Workers – 145 Years Later” (Forbes)
“On May 10, 1869 a telegraph operator in Promontory Summit, Utah sent the word ‘DONE’ to Washington D.C. The first transcontinental railway was complete. The occasion was marked by the Golden Spike Ceremony and captured with a photograph now known as ‘the champagne photo.’ ”

May 2014
“US honors Chinese who built Transcontinental Railroad” (China Daily)
“Chinese railroad workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad across the United States in the late 19th century were inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor in Washington and lauded for contributing to ‘America’s strength and vitality.’ ”

May 2014
“America’s Lost Generation of Asian Immigrants” (Pacific Standard)
“Growing up in a mostly white Midwest town, I rarely saw other Asian Americans that weren’t my blood relatives—not in real life, on TV, in books, or at school. In a world before America’s Best Dance Crew and Ken Jeong, any Asian spotting was cause for great excitement.”

May 2014
“A ‘photographic act of justice’ for Chinese laborers at Golden Spike” (The Salt Lake Tribune)
A Utah-based coalition, the Chinese Transcontinental Railroad Project, brought about 200 Chinese Americans, Chinese citizens and other Asian American friends, including several descendants of railroad workers, to Promontory Summit, Utah, on the 145th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. There they recreated the iconic photograph of the meeting of the two locomotives in what New York City photographer Corky Lee explained was “an act of photographic justice” by representing those who were invisible in the original photo.

May 2014
“Chinese railroad workers inducted into Hall of Honour” (KTSF26)
“The estimated 12,000 Chinese immigrant labourers who worked on the building of the first transcontinental railway in the United States were finally recognised for their work on Friday as they were inducted into the US Labour Department’s Hall of Honour.”

May 2014
“Chinese Railway Workers Inducted in US Labor Department’s Hall of Honor” (Voice of America)
“This year marks the 145th anniversary of the completion of the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad. The 3,200 kilometers of rail, constructed between 1863 and 1869, finally linked the eastern United States to the western part of the country.”

May 2014
“Chinese Transcontinental Railroad workers honored by U.S. Department of Labor” (MSNBC)
Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu discusses the induction of Chinese railroad workers into the U.S. Department of Labor’s Hall of Honor.

May 2014
“Descendants Of Chinese Laborers Reclaim Railroad’s History” (NPR)
“East finally met West 145 years ago on America’s first transcontinental railroad.”

May 2014
“‘The Chinese Helped Build America” (Forbes)
Gordon H. Chang and Shelley Fisher Fishkin published an essay in Forbes Asia recounting the history of the Chinese railroad workers, their accomplishments and the many ways they were excluded or ignored. They concluded the essay by placing the importance of understanding this history within the current context: “Today, as anxiety and concern often cloud the developing economic and social relationship between the United States and China, it would be useful for us to recall this dramatic episode in history when Chinese helped to build America.”

April 2014
“The Search for the Chinese Workers Who Helped Build America” (Caixin)
“The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad that linked the east and west coasts of the United States is a triumphant tale of tenacity and technological achievement that is studied by every American schoolchild.”

December 2013
Various Chinese newspapers reported on the Chinese Railroad Workers Project:
中美合作将再现被遗忘的美国铁路华工历史,, 2013年12月23日
中美合作将再现被遗忘的美国铁路华工历史,, 2013年12月23日
中美合作将再现被遗忘的美国铁路华工历史,, 2013年12月23日
中美携手 将再现被遗忘铁路华工血泪史,, 2013年12月23日
中美合作将再现被遗忘的美国铁路华工历史,, 2013年12月23日
中美协作将再现被忘记的美国铁路华工前史,, 2013年12月24日

December 2012
Photographer Li Ju documents the Central Pacific Railroad
In 2012, Beijing-based photographer Li Ju travelled the route of the Central Pacific railroad, documenting through photographs, what the places captured by nineteenth-century photographer Alfred Hart look like today. He reported on his trip in blogs written in Chinese that he posted in 2012 and discussed his trip with Project members at Stanford shortly after its completion.

September 2012

September 2012

September 2012

September 2012
Stanford scholars search for documents from the Chinese workers who built the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad
“Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants toiled at a grueling pace and in perilous working conditions to help construct America’s First Transcontinental Railroad.”