Canton Footprints             By: Philip P. Choy

Canton Footprints is the latest work of eminent Chinese American historian Philip P. Choy. The author brings the unique perspective that it was America's interest in trade with China that led to the coming of the Chinese to California.

Choy takes us back to 1784 when Captain Samuel Shaw from the ship Empress of China arrived in Canton to compete with European nations for the treasures of China. This impetus for "things Chinese" led to the nation's expansion westward - the subsequent discovery of gold in California led to the settlement of the West.

During the gold rush of 1849, Sacramento was the destination for many Chinese. Sacramento's place as the way station to the gold fields, the origin of the Transcontinental Railroad, and a center of California agriculture gave it a unique role in Chinese American history.