Does anyone knows who were the earliest Chinese immigrants to Tasmania ? When they were coming to Tassie ? I hope the following article can give people some answers:
Chinese tin miners were amongst the pioneers of Tasmania North East. The…y weren't numerous in numbers (approx.lly 1,000 in 1891), but they were very important to the history of that region. Their ability to work poor ground and persevere when tin prices were low provided the region with a continuity of population which would otherwise have been lacking in the rapidly shifting fortunes of the North East mining communities.
Between 1886 and 1896 Chinese tin miners outnumbered their European counterparts throughout the region and in some areas by much as 10 to 1. The Chinese also constituted the largest group of non-European immigrants to early Tasmania.
The Chinese came to Tasmania largely as an off-shoot of immigration to the famed gold fields of Victoria and New South Wales. However, it was conditions in China at the time which determined the type of Chinese immigrant, their attitudes to their new 'home', and the patterns of settlement which occurred.
Officially, emigration from China was prohibited during the Ching dynasty. The policy was severe but it was difficult to enforce and during the 17th century large numbers of Chinese had privately migrated to South East Asia. Most of the early Chinese immigrants to Australia were Cantonese, from the Canton delta region of the southern province of Kwangtung. This is a coastal province close to the Pacific Ocean and exposed to Western impact during the 19th century. Kwangtung province is a fertile valley isolated from central China by mountain ranges. Life in the province in the 1880's was characterised by food shortages and social and political unrest. Thanks for James Chung-Gon's article. Also thanks for the picture from China-Australia historical image centre.
Note: The picture is View of Beaconsfield and Tasmania Mine.