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1886 California Workingmen's Party Ticket, San Francisco

Courtesy of the California Historical Society, San Francisco

The California Workingmen’s Party was active in constitutional and charter matters as well as partisan issues, usually working to enhance local powers over immigrants. This is the Party’s ticket for the November 1886 supporting James Freud, Secretary of the Merchants Association and member of the San Francisco Civil Service Association in his candidacy for state senator but far more importantly the election of 15 members of the Board to re-frame the San Francisco city charter. 
There is nothing complicated or subtle about the symbolism imprinted on this ticket: the boot of the Workingmens’ Party is kicking a Chinese male out of California and back to China. This is watched approvingly by a woman and her child standing on the shore, evidently glad to be rid of this threat to her husband’s job.
C. J. Beerstecher, a Party representative at California’s Constitutional Convention in 1878, where the Workingmens’ Party had 51 of 150 delegates, had explained the importance of local control. He conceded that the federal courts had correctly ruled that admission of immigrants was a responsibility of the federal government, but the residence of immigrants was in the hands of the relevant states. Thus he concluded, “the State has the full power to deal with and solve the Chinese question.” (Testimony o f C. J. Beerstecher, California State Constitutional Convention, December 10, 1878.) And the resolution was expulsion.
While the Workingmens’ Party attack on the Chinese was fueled by white (probably native-born) Americans, the leadership of the party was provided by other foreign-born immigrants like C. J., Beerstecher, born in Germany, and Denis Kearney, an immigrant from Ireland.

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