Many of them are becoming very expert in drilling, blasting and other departments of rock work. The Chinese on the Central Pacific were divided into small groups.Each group had a cook who not only prepared their meals, but also kept a large boiler of hot water ready every night so that when the Chinese came off the road they could fill their tubs made from powder kegs and take a hot sponge bath.Apparently the need for labor was unduly advertised, for the Shasta Courier carried this advertisement on January 2.
At the same time, there were many thousands of Chinese in California.Drawn here by gold fever, they were eager for employment. It became apparent early in the season that the amount of labor likely to be required during the summer could only be supplied by employment of the Chinese element in our population.This made the bonds immediately salable and gave the railroad instant relief from long and agonizing financial strain.Four days later, the Sacramento Union carried a Central Pacific advertisement calling for "5,000 laborers for constant and permanent work; also experienced foremen." Construction, long halted at Newcastle, California, was speeded immediately.These societies can count their numbers by thousands, are conducted by shrewd, intelligent business men who promptly advise their subordinates where employment can be found on most favorable terms.
No system similar to slavery, serfdom or peonage prevails among these laborers.Several times daily a Chinese mess attendant brought fresh tea, pouring it into the big barrel.These beverage reinforcements were carried to the work site in powder kegs suspended from each end of a bamboo pole which was balanced on a Celestial shoulder. Labor is, however, scarce and dear in this state."They learn quickly, do not fight, have no strikes that amount to anything, and are very cleanly in their habits. More prudent and economical, they are contented with less wages.They will gamble, and do quarrel among themselves most noisily but harmlessly."  Heath, "Trail to Rail," S. We find them organized into societies for mutual aid and assistance.This bath and change of clothes were regular habits every night before they took their evening meal. See also John Debo Galloway, The First Transcontinental Railroad: Central Pacific, Union Pacific (New York, 1950), 144, and Robert F. Spier, "Food Habits of Nineteenth Century California Chinese," California Historical Society Quarterly, XXXVII (No. As a class they are quiet, peaceable, patient, industrious and economical.