Baptist History Homepage
      For the Tennessee Baptist
      Shanghai, China
      September 15, 1852.

Brother Graves:
      In a communication for the Tennessee Baptist, under date of July 16, I stated it as my conviction that the Chinese were destined eventually to emigrate to the United States in great numbers, especially to the South, and promised to give at some future time the reasons for this conviction. I now attempt to redeem my pledge, wishing it distinctly understood that from the short time I have been in China, I regard my opinions as hastily formed.

      In the first place, it is utterly impossible for this government to prevent the People from going, and inconsistent for the United States to prevent them from coming. The United States has been, is now, and ever will be, the asylum for the poor and oppressed, and the home of the pilgrim. - Since the opening of the "Five Ports" in 1842, many thousand Europeans have settled in America; but until recently, few Chinese. And why? Because they are ignorant and afraid? Not altogether. - They have not had the means or conveyance. Every ship bound for the United States left filled with teas and silks, even to the last spare nook in the cabin, and a passenger must pay the tea freight for every cubic foot he occupied, with an additional fee. This has doubtless been the great barrier in the way of migration. But since the settlement of California, times have been changing, commerce increasing, and the knowledge of our country more rapidly spreading, and a strong desire to migrate thither awakened in and around all the open ports, and several thousand Chinese have gone out in vessels fitted up expressly for passengers. A cargo of emigrants is beginning to be profitable, as well as a cargo of teas, and ships will be found to engage in the business, and it is thought that native junks will be able to make the passage across the Pacific. But will all that go settle, or even land in California? I think not. The rail road across the Isthmus will soon be complete, and the South is far better adapted to their o___titations [blurred] and habits than either California or the North. The climate of the South is admirably suited to them, and the culture of sugar, cotton, rice, wheat, barley, Indian corn, tobacco, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, melons, fruits, vegetables, in short, all the productions of the South, are well understood and extensively cultivated by the farmers of China. There are smiths, masons, carpenters, sailors, &c., without number, and I think they would be well suited for manufacturing establishments. Their peaceable, industrious habits will gain them a home and friends wherever they go. Their docility admirably adapts them for field laborers, day laborers and home servants, and the darkness of their complexion will do much for gaining for them this kind of employment. That there are millions of surplus population here every one knows, and that there is, and is still likely to be, a demand for laborers in the South, is also equally apparent. The price of labor here ranges from four to fifteen cents per day, and the laborer feeds himself; therefore so long as a Californian can get fifteen to twenty cents, and his food, in America, there will be a standing inducement for him to go thither, to say nothing of oppressive taxation. Slavery may prevent Europeans from settling in the South, but in my judgment, it will not prevent the Chinese. It is said that God is in history, yes, and He is in commerce too. The Churches are sending Missionaries among the heathen, and God, in turn, will send the heathen among them, that their conversion may be hastened - for God will do a short work in the earth.

      Myself and wife are both well, and going on smoothly [?].
Yours, in Christ Jesus,
T. P. Crawford.


[From the Tennessee Baptist, January 8, 1853, p. 3. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

More on T. P. Crawford
More on China Baptist Missionaries
Baptist History Homepage