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AFAM 401: Narratives of Race

The Tacoma Method

The Tacoma Method

On November 3, 1885, a mob composed of several hundred men expelled the Chinese community of Tacoma, Washington Territory. Like other acts of anti-Chinese violence in the late nineteenth century, the expulsion was a highly-coordinated act of violence that was led by city leaders and other white residents. Writing for the Overland Monthly, George Dudley Lawson later lauded the event as the “Tacoma Method” and argued that this type of expulsion could serve as a forceful example to other cities wanting to rid their communities of Chinese inhabitants. This website recounts the history of the expulsion and provides a broader context to the event.

This project was originally created by University of Puget Sound students enrolled in Digital History (399) during the spring of 2017. An additional round of editing and additions were made by students in Doing History (200) during the spring of 2018. Working in concert with Professor Andrew Gomez, the students were responsible for conducting primary and secondary research, writing original pieces of analysis, and using a variety of digital tools to enhance their arguments. 

Washington History: Historical Newspapers: Ethnic Communities: Chinese

Washington State Library's Historical Newspapers Collection:

Ethnic Communities:  Chinese

Digital copies of historical newspaper articles dealing with Chinese communities in the Pacific Northwest