During the second half of the 19th century, thousands of Chinese men arrived on the west coast of North America, seeking to escape poverty and make their fortunes in the goldfields or working on the railroads. Among them was 36-year-old Yip Sang, a native of Guangdong province in southeast China, who arrived in Vancouver in 1881 after failing to strike it rich in California. His luck was about to change. Through perseverance, hard work and an eye for opportunity, the enterprising Yip Sang amassed considerable wealth to pass on to his wives and 23 children when he died in 1927. As the unofficial mayor of Chinatown, Yip Sang was instrumental in helping new Chinese immigrants as they fought to overcome social, economic and political barriers. This fascinating history details the struggles and successes of Yip Sang and the first Chinese Canadians as they built new lives and left a lasting legacy for their families and community.
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