Item: A Statue for our Harbor

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Record Number: 11833
Box/Case: 5
Folder: 2
Artist: Keller, George Frederick, 1846-
Lithographer: Mayer, Merkel & Ottmann
Publisher: E. C. MacFarlane & Co.
Repository: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Date of Original: November 11 1881
Original Format: Prints › Lithographs › Chromolithographs, Political cartoons, Clippings
Dimensions: Dimensions of image, 24.5 by 34.5 cm
Image description: Keppler's cartoon was published a few years before construction on the Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor had been completed. The cartoon expresses concern over the immigration policies and suggests that Chinese immigrants have brought disease, filth, and poverty to San Francisco. In the cartoon, a statue of a Chinese immigrant man, representing the Statue of Liberty, wears tattered clothing and holds a torch from which six beams of light emanate. The words "filth," "immorality," "diseases," "ruin to," "white," and "labor" are written in the beams of light. The Chinese man holds an opium pipe in his left hand, stands on a podium, and rests his leg on a skull. In the harbor there are steamships and boats. A moon with the face of a Chinese man shines in the night sky.

Chinese immigrant laborers often worked for less pay than white laborers; consequently anti-Chinese sentiment grew among white laborers who feared they would lose their jobs. Exaggerated stories of rampant gambling, drug-use, and prostitution in the Chinese immigrant neighborhoods led many to whites to believe that the Chinese were destroying the cultural and moral standards of American society.