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1875 Page Law (An act supplementary to the acts in relation to immigration)

Sess. II, Chap. 141; 18 Stat. 477

43rd Congress; March 3, 1875.

You can find the full text of this law here or here or download the PDF.



In March 3, 1875, the Senate and House Representations of the United States of America in Congress approved a law stating that any immigration of Chinese, Japanese, or any Asian country, to the United States must be free and voluntary. There were five sections to the Page law. The second section stated that any citizen of the United States whotried to transport any Chinese, Japanese or from any of the Asian countries without their consent would be punished with a fine and jail time. The third section stated that any woman transported to the United States for the purpose of prostitution was forbidden and any contract made prior to the transportation would be voided and a fine and jail time sentenced. The fourth section stated that any person who made a deal in the present or past to illegally supply "coolie" labor would be penalized with a fine and jail time. The fifth section stated that any foreign person convicted of a crime not including political crimes and any woman transported to work as a prostitute would be denied access to the United States. All ships were subject to inspection if there was any suspicion of illegal immigrants on board or any one that is annoying or disturbing. All illegal immigrants that had been denied had the right to contest in a court of law.

(Summary by Jimmy Vong)



Chinese in California - The website gives you information on the history of Chinese immigration to the United States. It also have links of pictures and essays during the Chinese immigration period during the mid 1800’s.

Timeline of Chinese Immigration History - From a San Francisco Chinatown site.

Legal History of Chinese Americans - Timeline of Chinese Acts and other laws that were aimed at the Chinese.

Cartoons of Thomas Nast: Reconstruction, Chinese immigration, Native Americans, Glided Era - Political cartoons by Thomas Nast.


Many thanks to Hein Online for document provision, and The University of Washington-Bothell Library, for arranging web hosting. If you have any questions about this site, please contact the course instructor, Sarah Starkweather, at sarah [dot] starkweather [at] gmail [dot] com.