GLOSSARY: Ancestors, Part 1

COOLIES, SAILORS, SETTLERS:Voyage to the New World

Guano: the waste matter of sea birds. Rich in nitrates and phosphates, guano was used worldwide as a fertilizer. The Chincha Islands off of the coast of Peru, where guano deposits were as deep as 100 feet, were a major source for this product.

Manifest Destiny: a term coined in the 1840s to express the general sentiment among Americans that they were as a people, destined by the Divine to expand and occupy all areas of the continent that did not yet belong to the United States of America.

Crimps: name given to the agents who recruited laborers in Asia to work in western nations. They lured potential workers with false promises of gainful employment.

Ticket on credit: a practice common to the labor recruiting system. Men who signed on to work in far off places typically did not have money to pay for their transportation. The agent who contracted them would pay for their ticket, but that money was a loan. The money had to be repaid, usually with interest. This meant that the laborer was already in debt before he ever reached his new place of employment.

Treaty Ports: China was obliged by England in the Treaty of Nanjing, which terminated the 1st Opium War (1842-1852), to open certain sea ports to foreign commence. Foreigners, including Christian missionaries, settled into these port cities creating a constant reminder to Chinese of the unwanted Western presence.

(In 1844, Caleb Cushing, an American negotiated a treaty with China whereby American ships gained access to ports already open to European traders. )

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