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Underground History: Chinese Settlement In Eastern Oregon

Last year's dig in the Malheur National Forest.

Chinese workers played a large part in the building of today's American West.  But little more than a decade after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Congress and state legislatures passed laws ending Chinese immigration. 

Recent archaeological work in Eastern Oregon indicates more Chinese people living there in the 19th century than previously thought; people who also stayed longer than presumed.  A dig in the Malheur National Forest includes the U.S. Forest Service Passport In Time program and the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA). 

So this month's edition of our Underground History segment focuses on that dig.  Chelsea Rose of SOULA and Don Hann from the Forest Service grab phones to give us updates on their work, from the field.  


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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.