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The Chinese miners were welcomed in California in the beginning. However, the white gold miners began to resent the Chinese miners, feeling that they were discovering gold that the white miners deserved. In 1852, a special foreign miner's tax aimed at the Chinese was passed by the California legislature (see 1852 section on Foreign Miner's Tax from Asian American Experience in the U.S. for more information). This tax required a payment of three dollars each month at a time when Chinese miners were making approximately six dollars a month. Tax collectors could legally take and sell the property of those miners who refused or could not pay the tax. Fake tax collectors made money by taking advantage of people who couldn't speak English well, and some tax collectors, both false and real, stabbed or shot miners who couldn't or wouldn't pay the tax. During the 1860's, many Chinese were expelled from the mine fields and were forced to find other types of jobs.
Foreign Miner's Tax from Asian American Experience in the U.S. - A Chronological History: 1763-1996
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