Boston is home to one of the oldest Chinatowns in the US, when Chinese merchants, workers and stdents populated the area. Explore their history there and their part in creating a strong community and unique culture in the area.
Chinese Americans in Boston trace their historical origins to pioneering settlements of merchants, workers, and students in different parts of New England. After the 1880s, hundreds of Chinese arrived in Boston. Beginning as a bachelor male-dominated society, the Chinese in Boston gradually developed stronger bonds of family and community life. Spared natural disasters that characterized the Chinese immigrant experience in the West, Boston's Chinatown nonetheless faced challenges of urban renewal and environmental degradation. Through their participation in community organizations, merchant activities, educational opportunities, and civic protests, the Chinese in Boston persevered, simultaneously maintaining their Chinese identity and acculturating into America. They formed a close-knit community that distinguished Boston's Chinatown as one of the oldest and most enduring Chinese neighborhoods on the East Coast.